As we know there is now a surge in demand for flights as Covid travel restrictions have been relaxed. This has caused many problems for airlines as well as passengers. However, it does appear that Singapore Airlines is taking advantage of the surge and has expanded its passenger numbers.
Increasing Passenger Numbers and Reach
According to the website Simple Flying, Singapore Airlines has increased the number of passengers it is flying by more than ten times. The April 2022 traffic figures show that the airline is clearly making a strong recovery after Covid. Singapore Airlines carried 1,146,200 passengers in April 2022 when compared with just 95,900 in April 2021. The passenger load factor for Singapore Airlines (percentage of seats being utilised out of those being offered) has also increased significantly since the pandemic; the figure was 14.4% in April 2021 but had improved significantly to 77.4% in April 2022. It appears that passenger load factors for flights to all parts of the world increased at least four times in the 12 months to April 30, 2022. However, in many regions, the increase was more than this.
It appears that not only is Singapore Airlines expanding passenger numbers and recovering strongly from the pandemic, but it is also expanding its reach. Last year, as of April 30, 2021, Singapore Airlines flew to 49 destinations. This year, as of April 30, 2022, the airline flew to 71 destinations. As one can see, there is approximately a 45% increase in the number of airlines served by the airline. The same story of increases in the number of destinations served is shared by its low-cost subsidiary Scoot which last year, as of April 30, 2021, served 19 destinations when compared to 45 destinations this year as of April 30, 2022.
Reasons Behind Success
The reasons behind Singapore Airlines’ rise are predominantly down to two factors. Firstly, Singapore has recently relaxed its Covid restrictions. Since April 1, 2022, Singapore has been allowing fully vaccinated passengers the right to enter Singapore without the need for quarantine or on arrival Covid tests. In addition, from April 26, 2022, Singapore also removed the pre-departure Covid test requirement.
As a result of this, there has been a surge in demand from people who had been deprived of travel opportunities as a result of the pandemic and who now want to make the most of it. In particular, there has been a surge in the number of business travelers wanting to visit Singapore, which has always been a popular destination for business. There has also been a surge in outbound travel for leisure from local Singaporeans.
The second reason for the popularity of Singapore Airlines is that other airlines have scaled back their flights to and from Singapore. The Middle Eastern Airline Emirates used to fly into Singapore four times a day but has scaled back to once-daily flights. Qatar Airways, another Middle Eastern Airline, has cut down from 21 flights a week into Singapore to 10 flights a week.
With regards to Western Airlines, British Airways has swapped out its pre-pandemic daily Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 flights for a single daily Dreamliner service that now goes onto Sydney. The German airline Lufthansa is now using a smaller plane for its Singapore service; an A340 instead of an A380. Swiss International has also reduced its daily flights from Zurich to three times a week. In addition, the Australian airline Qantas is now operating a reduced service to Singapore and even then with smaller planes.
As one can see, the combination of relaxation of Covid rules and a scaling back of services from other airlines means that Singapore Airlines has been able to fill the void and capitalise on the increased demand for flights and the reduced services from other airlines. Singapore is a glowing example of how airlines can make the most of the increased demand and therefore expand, and no doubt improve profits. All in all, therefore, a positive story for this airline.